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Separation anxiety in relationships

Separation anxiety in relationships

Separation anxiety in relationships

Separation anxiety in relationships. Separation anxiety in a relationship is the feeling of genuine fear, anxiousness, and/or panic when being away from one’s partner. It’s an unusually strong fear of or anxiety that results from separating from your partner or someone to whom you feel a strong attachment.


In some cases, the separation anxiety may be severe enough to diagnose someone with separation anxiety disorder, which is “developmentally inappropriate and excessive fear or anxiety concerning separation from those to whom the individual is attached,” as outlined in the


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), is a manual for the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders. However, not everyone who experiences separation anxiety in relationships will meet these criteria for diagnosis.


Like with anything else, separation anxiety in relationships can look different from couple to couple and person to person — it isn’t linear and can be super extreme or relatively mild.


You can generally recognize relationship separation anxiety by one key sign: a feeling of extreme or unbearable distress at the thought of being separated from your romantic partner.


This uneasiness goes beyond simply missing a partner. It might involve some deeper apprehension that you can’t survive without them or fears they’ll be hurt and you’ll lose them forever.


More specifically, this type of separation anxiety  in relationships will involve some of the following symptoms:


  • frequent and persistent worries about your partner experiencing an injury, accident, death, or anything else that leads to separation
  • frequent and persistent worries that you might face some type of harm that keeps you from them
  • fear and unease when traveling without them
  • discomfort and distress when they leave
  • a need to know where they are, and when they’ll return, whenever you’re apart
  • difficulty sleeping without them
  • difficulty concentrating at work or school because you can’t stop thinking about whether they’re safe
  • persistent or overwhelming fears that they’ll abandon you or end the relationship
  • general restlessness and irritability
  • You might also experience physical anxiety symptoms, including stomach distress, headaches, or sleep problems, during your time apart or when worrying about an upcoming separation.


Separation Anxiety In Relationship Factors


You might find separation from your partner more difficult if you struggle with relationship anxiety or you’ve dealt with rejection or abandonment in the past.


Cultural factors can also play a part in separation anxiety, Botnick notes. If your culture considers autonomy unusual or unsafe, you might feel anxious when doing things without your partner.


Even more positive aspects of your relationship can contribute to feelings of anxiety. Maybe you’ve always had a fantastically close relationship and your life circumstances have allowed you to spend most of your time together.


If one of you suddenly has to spend more time away from home, you might need some time to find your footing as you adjust to preparing meals, going to bed, or caring for children alone.


Codependence Role


While not technically considered a mental health condition, codependence can also cause plenty of emotional distress, including symptoms of separation anxiety in relationships


In a codependent relationship, you might put your partner’s needs first, have more concern for their well-being than for yours, and even believe you know what’s best for them. Eventually, you might become so intertwined that you find it difficult to remember that you are, in fact, two different people.


When people lose their sense of who they are, separate from their loved ones, they’re more likely to have a hard time functioning alone.


Is separation anxiety normal in relationships?

Is separation anxiety normal in relationships

Is separation anxiety normal in relationships? Some degree of anxiety about separation in a relationship is normal. But when the individual exceeds the typical anxiety levels and exhibits an unusual amount of dread, it could be detrimental to the relationship.


In such cases, the impact of the anxiety prevents the person from living comfortably and at ease. It may also result in certain behaviors that make it clear that they suffer from separation anxiety disorders. For example, the person may:


  • Have lack of independence in doing tasks on their own
  • Prefer to be excessively dependent on one or more people
  • Fear making new friends because it may take them ‘away’ from their prime emotional attachment
  • No traveler be away from home for long periods of time


Is separation anxiety normal in relationships? When the anxiety hampers the relationship and encroaches upon the couple’s ability to maintain healthy lives as individuals, it becomes necessary to take a closer look.


A good way to gauge if your fears and worries indicate adult separation anxiety disorder is to match them with the common symptoms. Remember that there may be different levels of separation anxiety in relationships, with each showing one or more of these following signs in various degrees


  • Intense emotional distress
  • Anxiety even after the period of separation is over, and they are together
  • Panic attacks that seem triggered by worry over staying away
  • Need constant reassurance from the person they are attached to that they will return or not leave

Is separation anxiety normal in relationships?

  • Fear of the partner being injured or killed whenever they are away
  • Excessive dependence upon the partner for all their needs
  • Discomfort, both physical and mental, when the partner leaves
  • An overwhelming sense of helplessness about the fear of being left alone
  • Irritability and inability to remain calm may result in insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating at work or on tasks when on their own
  • Need constant communication with partner


How do I stop separation anxiety in my relationship?

How do I stop separation anxiety in my relationship

How do I stop separation anxiety in my relationship? Maybe you’ve always found it challenging to be without your partner. Or perhaps separation anxiety is a new experience for you, one that leaves you wondering how to rekindle your desire for your own company.


How do I stop separation anxiety in my relationship?

  • Reduce your check-ins


Separation anxiety can leave you with the urge to call, text, or message your partner frequently.


There’s nothing wrong with keeping in touch throughout the day. But when you spend all your time worrying about them, you’ll have less mental energy to spare for yourself.


This can affect your concentration and create challenges in your own daily routine. Not to mention, frequent texts might overwhelm them.


Create some space by giving yourself some guidelines. Maybe you text them during your morning break and give them a quick call during lunch, for example. Otherwise, set your phone aside and turn your attention to your own day.


  • Create new routines


Separation anxiety in relationships can develop after major life changes when you fear losing the closeness you and your partner currently share. One solution? Make a dedicated effort to build time for quality connections each day.


It’s absolutely healthy to spend some time apart, but you can’t maintain a strong, healthy relationship unless you spend time together, too.


  • Share your worries


Good communication isn’t a relationship cure-all, but it can go a long way toward easing different types of relationship distress.


When you avoid discussing emotional distress, those feelings often intensify. Even just explaining what you’re feeling and how you’re trying to work through it can help.


Your partner may not understand where your fears are coming from, but they can still listen, validate your feelings, and offer emotional support.


It’s also possible they’ve experienced some similar anxieties and wondered how to share those feelings with you, so an open conversation could make a difference for you both.


  • Focus on your needs


How do I stop separation anxiety in my relationship? Tending to your emotional and physical needs won’t automatically make your worries disappear, but it can help you manage them more successfully.


When you catch yourself stuck in a loop of worry, consider whether you’re making enough time for:


  • quality sleep
  • physical activity
  • regular meals
  • relaxation and hobbies
  • friends and loved ones besides your partner


  • Get used to separation gradually


Graduated exposure, a tactic often used in anxiety treatment, can help you slowly acclimate yourself to whatever triggers your anxiety.


Experiencing separation in bite-sized steps can help you adjust as you slowly work your way up to spending a few days (or more) apart. You might feel a little more secure each time your partner comes home safely, as the evidence stacks up in favor of their continued return to you.


What does separation anxiety look like in relationships?

What does separation anxiety look like in relationships

What does separation anxiety look like in relationships? An adult’s separation anxiety can stem from many life events, such as the loss of an attachment figure, either from moving away or being separated even for a relatively short amount of time.


Their anxiety may also be related to another underlying mental health condition. For example, anxiety conditions are common in autistic people.


On occasion, people may categorize an adult with separation anxiety disorder as controlling or overprotective. However, their actions are often an adult’s way of expressing their fears in regard to separation.


Separation anxiety in relationships for adults looks like a heightened state of anxiety that could include panic attacks when met with separation or the idea of separation from loved ones. It may include a refusal to honor boundaries and difficulty with eating and sleeping habits due to separation.


Adults may find it hard to partake in daily activities and become withdrawn as a result. Some manifest their anxiety by having poor boundaries with children or partners.1


What does separation anxiety look like in relationships? Symptoms of separation anxiety in adults include:


  • Fear of being alone
  • Worries that a loved one will be hurt
  • Fear of being away from a loved one
  • Depression
  • Physical pain

What does separation anxiety look like in relationships?

  • Headaches
  • General anxiety and agitation
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Being withdrawn and isolated
  • Changes in sleep and eating habits
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle tension
  • Inability to focus


Causes and Triggers of Separation Anxiety In  Relationships For Adults


There are several potential causes and triggers of adult separation anxiety, including developmental delays, a history of trauma, or the unexpected death of a loved one.


Here are several potential causes of adult separation anxiety:


  • Abandonment
  • Relational conflict
  • Family history of anxiety
  • Forced separation
  • Neurological issues
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Inconsistent caregivers
  • Codependency
  • Developmental delays or disturbances
  • History of trauma
  • The unexpected death of a loved one


What are 3 signs of separation anxiety?

What are 3 signs of separation anxiety

What are 3 signs of separation anxiety? There can be many underlying causes behind doubts and insecurity in relationships, including:


  • Emotional neglect or abuse causes low self-esteem
  • low self-worth due to past trauma
  • Attachment difficulties stemming from relationships with your parents or caregivers at a young age


Other signs include; Having parents who were significantly intrusive or disengaged and

General anxiety that manifests as worry about relationships


What are 3 signs of separation anxiety? A separation anxiety disorder may be associated with panic disorder and panic attacks ― repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes.


When to see a doctor


What are 3 signs of separation anxiety? Separation anxiety usually won’t go away without treatment and can lead to panic disorder and other anxiety disorders into adulthood.


If you have concerns about your child’s separation anxiety, talk to your child’s pediatrician or other health care provider.




Sometimes, separation anxiety can be triggered by life stress that results in separation from a loved one. Genetics may also play a role in developing the disorder.


Separation anxiety in relationships Reddit

separation anxiety in relationships reddit

Separation anxiety in relationships Reddit. For a year or two, I have invested myself in living in more serious relationships. I am, however, failing and I’d like your advice.


I am a 30-year-old male, living in London. I’ve had two serious relationships that were ended by the women (age: 33 & 29) in question, one lasted three months, the other six months. During all stages of the relationship, I’ve been ridden with anxiety that we are not going where I want to or that she will be leaving me any second.


Separation anxiety in relationships Reddit. My anxiety is triggered by instances like unanswered texts, strange glances, and lots of other stupid minor things. But mainly, lack of emotional response. I tend to need constant confirmation that they like me. In both relationships most of my worries were unfounded.


Of course, this has led to trouble. They retract from me (or so I experience it) and I get more and more filled with resentment, i.e. less attractive. Until it is ended, by them. Both of these women have referred to this issue post-breakup.


I also seem to seek out troubled women, or at least prey on the trouble in them. These serious ones both have absent fathers, they have had their share of trouble (depressions) and I can’t seem to be a good support for them, even after reading up on how, talking to a shrink about it, and thinking about it over and over.


Instead of giving support, I believe I might cling to their bad fortune as a means to being needed by them. I know this is seriously messed up.


I’d like to hear from people who have overcome behavior like these how they did it or hear this from the perspective of women who have been in relationships like these.


Separation anxiety in relationships Reddit. I am a 30-year-old male, good-looking, highly intelligent, and have a good job. Described by friends as “the most social around”, well-liked by many, but also controversial with others. I believe most of my other behavior in my relations is genuinely appreciated by the women, at least they told me so.


When I was little I had trouble getting girls, I mainly fantasized about how I would count them, telling my friends, but not going with it. During my teens, I became the proper man-whore. I have since slept with a too high comfort number of women, but also spent years as a non(?)-voluntary monk. I’ve had relationships before, but none that I took seriously.


I have no inclination of continuing either, I want a committed relationship. I am at a loss on how to think.


TL;DR My fear of being left by women is killing my relationships and causing me to do bad things. How did you stop? How did you experience this behavior?


Separation anxiety in relationships test

separation anxiety in relationships test

Separation anxiety in relationships test. Having separation anxiety from a boyfriend or partner can be awful but then anxiety within a relationship is quite common. It is quite natural that as we grow emotionally attached to the one we love, we feel kind of sad when they are away, especially if you’re used to being around them.


Imagine someday, one of you had to leave the country for studies or other purposes, the fear or anxiety concerning separation can set in.


And you might be forced to ask “Do I have separation anxiety with my boyfriend?” separation anxiety can be treated and this separation anxiety in relationships test can give you all the answers you’ve been searching for


  1. Are you afraid that the separation will not end?


  1. Yes, at times


  1. Not in any way


  1. I don’t know what the future holds


  1. Do you find yourself regretting your relationship?


  1. No, I don’t


  1. Yes, I do


  1. I’m not sure


  1. Do you feel complete when he’s away?


  1. Definitely


  1. Not at all


  1. Sometimes


  1. Do you see yourself losing him if he’s far away?


  1. Sadly I do


  1. I can’t lose him at all


  1. I’m not sure


Separation anxiety in relationships test


  1. Do you think the communication will remain the same if he’s away?


  1. I’m positive we will keep up communication


  1. I’m not sure if he will be willing to communicate


  1. No, I doubt it


  1. Is separation anxiety killing your relationship?


  1. Yes, it is destroying my relationship


  1. No, it is not


  1. I’m not even sure


  1. Do you feel he’s worth the wait if he’s far away?


  1. Certainly


  1. Never


  1. Maybe


  1. Can you cope with a long-distance relationship while your boyfriend is out of town?


  1. I will try but I’m not sure


  1. Yes, I can cope


  1. No, I cannot


  1. Do you experience physical signs of distress such as headaches or physical pains when you’re not with your boyfriend?


  1. Funnily enough, yes


  1. No, never happened to me


  1. I think I do, but maybe it’s my imagination


  1. Do you have trust issues?


  1. No, I trust my boyfriend


  1. Yes, I don’t think my boyfriend is faithful


  1. Sometimes, I consider the possibility of my boyfriend being unfaithful


Separation anxiety in relationships tips

separation anxiety in relationships tips

Separation anxiety in relationships tips. How to control separation anxiety in a relationship and how to help someone with separation anxiety? Here are some tips for separation anxiety management.


  1. Recognize the signs


The first step to combating adult separation anxiety is recognizing its signs and talking to someone, such as your significant other, about your concerns.


  1. Seek medical help


Separation anxiety in relationships tips. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor and ask for referrals to a psychologist or psychiatrist to develop a treatment plan for the disorder (Be sure to check about your coverage insurance!)


Treatment plans might include therapy sessions, medication, maintaining a journal or written log, reducing the number of hours you work, or taking a less stressful role in the workplace, among many other options.


  1. Discuss the care plan with your partner


Be sure to discuss all aspects of your treatment plan with your partner, as it will also directly impact them. They should be well aware of how the treatment will roll out, so they can also prepare their schedules and availability accordingly.


  1. Be open to communication


The most important thing to remember about combating separation anxiety in relationships or separation anxiety in couples is to be open in communication with your support team, especially your partner.


  1. Deep breathing exercises


Separation anxiety in relationships tips. Apart from medical care and therapy, one other way to overcome separation anxiety in a relationship is to practice deep breathing exercises. Such exercises help to be more mindful of your thoughts and calm you down.


  1. Know that the separation is temporary


Even as you feel anxiety due to separation from your partner, it is important to acknowledge that the separation is only temporary. While your anxiety may make you want to believe that you are forever separated from them, convince yourself logically that it is not true.


  1. Do things that you enjoy when away from your partner


To ease your anxiety, do things that you enjoy doing when your partner is away. You could read, watch your favorite movie or show, or even spend time outdoors taking a walk, running, or gardening. Enjoying your own company is extremely important to deal with separation anxiety in relationships.


  1. Keep active


Staying active, both physically and mentally, is crucial for dealing with separation anxiety in relationships. When you stay active physically, the hormones released by your body help to manage anxiety. Similarly, when you keep your mind occupied, you keep negative thoughts at bay, which helps to reduce anxiety.


  1. Focus on other important relationships in your life


Apart from your romantic relationships, there are various other relationships in your life that hold importance. When you suffer from separation anxiety in relationships, you should focus on the other meaningful relationships – that of siblings, friends, family, and others.


  1. Plan something special for when you meet


When you have something positive to look forward to, you are likely to feel less anxious. When you are away from your partner, spend some time planning extraordinary things for each other when you finally meet.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships

separation anxiety in teenage relationships

separation anxiety in teenage relationships

Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. Anxiety disorders vary from teenager to teenager. Symptoms generally include excessive fears and worries, feelings of inner restlessness, and a tendency to be excessively wary and vigilant.


Even in the absence of an actual threat, some teenagers describe feelings of continual nervousness, restlessness, or extreme stress.


In a social setting, anxious teenagers may appear dependent, withdrawn, or uneasy. They seem either overly restrained or overly emotional. They may be preoccupied with worries about losing control or unrealistic concerns about social competence.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. Teenagers who suffer from excessive anxiety regularly experience a range of physical symptoms as well.


They may complain about muscle tension and cramps, stomachaches, headaches, pain in the limbs and back, fatigue, or discomforts associated with pubertal changes. They may blotch, flush, sweat, hyperventilate, tremble, and startle easily.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships typically centers on changes in the way the adolescent’s body looks and feels, social acceptance, and conflicts about independence. When flooded with anxiety, adolescents may appear extremely shy.


They may avoid their usual activities or refuse to engage in new experiences. They may protest whenever they are apart from friends. Or in an attempt to diminish or deny their fears and worries, they may engage in risky behaviors, drug experimentation, or impulsive sexual behavior.


  • Panic Disorder


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships.


More common in girls than boys, panic disorder emerges in adolescence usually between the ages of fifteen and nineteen.


Feelings of intense panic may arise without any noticeable cause or they may be triggered by specific situations, in which case they are called panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt episode of severe anxiety with accompanying emotional and physical symptoms.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. During a panic attack, the youngster may feel overwhelmed by intense fear or discomfort, a sense of impending doom, the fear he’s going crazy, or sensations of unreality.


Accompanying the emotional symptoms may be shortness of breath, sweating, choking, chest pains, nausea, dizziness, and numbness or tingling in his extremities.


During an attack, some teens may feel they’re dying or can’t think. Following a panic attack, many youngsters worry that they will have other attacks and try to avoid situations that they believe may trigger them.


Because of this fearful anticipation, the teen may begin to avoid normal activities and routines.


  • Phobias


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. Many fears of younger children are mild, passing, and considered within the range of normal development. Some teenagers develop exaggerated and usually inexplicable fears and phobias that center on specific objects or situations.


These intense fears can limit a teenager’s activities. The fear generated by a phobia is excessive and not a rational response to a situation. The objects of a phobia usually change as a child gets older.


While very young children may be preoccupied with the dark, monsters, or actual dangers, adolescents’ phobic fears tend to involve school and social performance.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. Several studies have revealed an increase in school avoidance in middle school or junior-high years. With school avoidance, excessive worries about performance or social pressures at school may be at the root of the reluctance to attend school regularly.


This leads to a cycle of anxiety, physical complaints, and school avoidance. The cycle escalates with the worsening of physical complaints such as stomachaches, headaches, and menstrual cramps.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. Visits to the doctor generally fail to uncover general medical explanations. The longer a teenager stays out of school, the harder it becomes for him to overcome his fear and anxiety and return to school. He feels increasingly isolated from school activities and different from other kids.


Separation anxiety disorder in relationships

separation anxiety disorder in relationships

Separation anxiety disorder in relationships. Separation anxiety disorder is diagnosed when symptoms are excessive for the developmental age and cause significant distress in daily functioning. Symptoms may include:


Separation anxiety disorder in relationships

  • Recurrent and excessive distress about anticipating or being away from home or loved ones
  • Constant, excessive worry about losing a parent or other loved one to an illness or a disaster
  • The constant worries that something bad will happen, such as being lost or kidnapped, causing separation from parents or other loved ones
  • Refusing to be away from home because of fear of separation

Separation anxiety disorder in relationships

  • Not wanting to be home alone and without a parent or other loved one in the house
  • Reluctance or refusing to sleep away from home without a parent or other loved one nearby
  • Repeated nightmares about separation
  • Frequent complaints of headaches, stomachaches, or other symptoms when separation from a parent or other loved one is anticipated
  • A separation anxiety disorder may be associated with panic disorder and panic attacks ― repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes.


Separation anxiety in new relationships

separation anxiety in new relationships

Separation anxiety in new relationships. By exposing yourself to fear. If you fear being separated you have to go through the situation, to toughen up so to speak.


You won’t get over a fear or anxiety unless you go through it. If you learn to avoid it by being around someone more times than not, this will trickle into other aspects of your life as well, until you hit bottom like I once did where I became afraid of everything. that in itself is considered agoraphobia.


You also might want to ask yourself why you are afraid of being separated from this person, there might be some other underlying fears you need to address. like fear of abandonment.


There are a number of ways to cope with this separation anxiety in new relationships


See a therapist, they will guide you down a path that you can follow in order to conquer the fear.

Learn about fear, and understand what it is so you can understand what you are feeling.

Accept it.


You have to learn to accept that this is where you currently are right now. Don’t judge yourself if you feel fear, fear is a natural response.




You want to practice what you fear in order to conquer the fear and learn that it is not scary. So practice with your fear, over and over and over. Each time it’ll get better and better. Remember to be patient when doing exposure therapy.




Separation anxiety in new relationships. Doing mindfulness meditation which can be done in any position, anytime for 5–40 mins a day.


Honestly, you can meditate for however long you want. Meditation allows your brain to relearn and reprogram itself. It alleviates anxiety and depression.


Scientific evidence goes on to show that it allows your brain to react less to emotional stimuli, thus allowing yourself to stay focused, neutral, and in control. You also learn that anxiety is just discomfort, and to let it pass like a wave.


If the anxiety is unbearable, and you need a boost to begin to cope with it, there are medications. But be careful, because you want to be able to feel fear, so you can learn to accept it and not let it rule you.


Oftentimes people get prescribed anxiety medications and they don’t try to improve themselves in any way. Medication is not a quick fix, it takes up to a year for your body to fully adjust to it.


There are side effects that you should be aware of, so talk to your doctor if this interests you. Again, the aim here is to not let medications become a crutch, but something to help you towards your path of betterment.




Do understand that everyone feels fear. Everyone can become disordered at one point or another. Everyone is vulnerable to anxiety, but we all have to deal with it, otherwise, disorders happen due to bad coping mechanisms.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships symptoms

separation anxiety in teenage relationships symptoms

Separation anxiety in teenage relationships symptoms. Most teenagers are fragile and noticing certain changes in them is easy if you pay close attention. If you notice the symptoms below in your teenager, then they may possibly be experiencing separation anxiety in teenage relationships symptoms


  • Extreme anxiety before impending separation
  • Extreme worry and anxiety during the separation including restlessness and crying
  • Excessive worrying about the caregivers’ health and safety
  • Fixation on thoughts of accidents or death during separation
  • Difficulties sleeping far from a caregiver, (sleepovers and school trips may be unmanageable)
  • Nightmares based on the theme of separation
  • Reluctance or refusal to attend school
  • Somatic responses such as headaches, stomach aches, and vomiting


In many cases of separation anxiety in teenage relationships symptoms, adolescent anxiety disorders may have begun earlier as separation anxiety, the tendency to become flooded with fearfulness whenever separated from home or from those to whom the child is attached, usually a parent.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. Adolescents can also have separation disorders. These teens may deny anxiety about separation, yet it may be reflected in their reluctance to leave home and resistance to being drawn into independent activity. Separation anxiety is often behind a teen’s refusal to attend or remain at school.


School avoidance can follow a significant change at school, such as the transition into middle school or junior high. It may also be triggered by something unrelated to schools, such as a divorce, illness, or a death in the family. Some youngsters become fearful about gang activities or the lack of safety in school.


Separation anxiety in teenage relationships. A worried teenager performs less well in school, sports, and social interactions. Too much worry can also result in a teenager failing to achieve his potential. A teen who experiences a great deal of anxiety may be overly conforming, perfectionistic, and unsure of himself.


In attempting to gain approval or avoid disapproval, he may redo tasks or procrastinate. The anxious youngster often seeks excessive reassurance about his identity and whether he is good enough.


Some teenagers with anxiety disorders can also develop mood disorders or eating disorders. Some teenagers who experience persistent anxiety may also develop suicidal feelings or engage in self-destructive behaviors; these situations require immediate attention and treatment.


Anxious teens may also use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate or self-soothe or develop rituals in an effort to reduce or prevent anxiety.


Separation anxiety in toxic relationships

separation anxiety in toxic relationships

Separation anxiety in toxic relationships. Abusive relationships cause anxiety. In abusive relationships, one partner chooses to be cruel and demoralizing some or most of the time.


When basic human needs aren’t met, psychological problems arise. In the case of abusive relationships, one prominent problem is anxiety.


Many people who are or have been in an abusive relationship develop significant life-limiting anxiety. It can develop during the abusive relationship while the abuse is happening, or anxiety can begin after the abuse is over, either immediately or down the road.


Separation anxiety in toxic relationships. Abusers use a variety of means to reach their endgame—a complete takeover of the person the abusive partner is supposed to love for who they are. This violation of what a relationship between two equal partners should be is one of the causes of anxiety in toxic relationships.


When the rules change at the hand of just one partner, it creates an uneven playing field that is confusing, frustrating, and anxiety-provoking to play on.


Abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal, emotional, sexual, and/or financial. Each one is a variation on a theme: the abuser becomes their partner’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Controlling from the outside isn’t good enough for abusers.


They need to assume complete ownership of their partner: mind, body, and spirit.


Separation anxiety in toxic relationships. Abuse goes beyond possessiveness to complete and total possession. This drive for ownership fuels abusive behavior, which can involve actions like:


  • Excessive, rigid control
  • Insults
  • Derogatory comments about family and friends
  • Isolation plus blame for “driving people away”
  • Anger
  • Threats
  • Ridicule
  • Ignoring
  • Blame
  • Yelling
  • Gaslighting
  • Physical harm


Anxiety and Abusive Relationships: What It’s Like


In an abusive relationship, anxiety comes from many places. As mentioned above, the denial of basic human needs leads to anxiety. The effects of the abuse itself lead to inner experiences that cause or relate to anxiety:


  • Fear
  • Excessive worry
  • Anticipation of what will happen next
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Paranoia
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Dissonance (inner conflict, such as what arises from a mix of fondness for and fear of the abuser)
  • Isolation
  • The critical inner voice turns a person against themselves
  • Self-doubt
  • Low self-esteem
  • Worry about whether people know and what they think
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nightmares that cause anxiety upon waking
  • Constantly walking on eggshells
  • Pounding heart, like in anxiety- or panic attack
  • Muscle tension
  • Digestive problems


Abusers themselves also create anxiety:


Their very presence or even the sound of their voice or footsteps can instill fear


Inconsistent behavior (loving that turns merciless and back) makes their partner anxious in anticipation of what to expect; further, it contributes to guilt, fueling more anxiety, for continuing to love aspects of the abusive partner.


Thoughts of the abuser can cause people to be nervous, on-edge, and jumpy


Signs of separation anxiety in relationships

signs of separation anxiety in relationships

Signs of separation anxiety in relationships. It’s perfectly normal to have some level of anxiety about relationships. However, relationship anxiety becomes a problem when it’s severe enough or lasts long enough to impede growth in the relationship or affect other areas of your life.


Relationship insecurity can increase stress and impact how you interpret your feelings and emotions, and can sometimes lead to separation anxiety.


Signs of  Separation Anxiety In Relationships


Relationship anxiety can plague anyone, and experiencing it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in a bad relationship.


Oftentimes, fear and worry stem from not wanting to go through a breakup or being reluctant to be vulnerable due to previous hurts, like if you’ve been cheated on in the past.


Here are seven signs you may be experiencing relationship anxiety:


  1. Fear of Commitment & Vulnerability


Commitment issues can occur due to a previous negative experience, or because you may not feel comfortable expressing your feelings. For some, relationships feel confining, and putting a label on them increases their level of anxiety.


  1. Ending Relationships Before They Become Serious


If you find yourself cutting people off before the relationship becomes more serious, keeping potential friends at arms-length, or engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors, you might have relationship anxiety.


  1. Not Expressing Your Needs & Desires Because You’re Fearful That They Will Leave


Healthy relationships need to be built on trust and honesty and feeling reluctant to share your thoughts can indicate anxiety about the relationship.


  1. Questioning Your Partner’s Motives


Many people with separation anxiety in relationships will continuously worry their partner will “find someone better,” doubt whether their partner truly cares for them, or constantly be concerned that their partner will break up with them over insignificant or non-existent reasons.


  1. Doubting You & Your Partner’s Compatibility


You may start to put more emphasis than necessary on the differences between you and your partner—like having different tastes in music or movies—to the point where you’re spending more time worrying about those small differences than appreciating where you are compatible.


  1. Overthinking Your Partner’s Words & Actions


Signs of separation anxiety in relationships. Maybe your partner prefers to limit public displays of affection or makes a joke about a quirky part of your personality; this may lead you to spend a lot of time reading into their actions and assuming that they don’t actually like you when they probably just have slightly different preferences than you or are just trying to engage or flirt with you.


  1. Spending More Time Worrying Than Enjoying the Relationship


It’s perfectly normal to have times of worry or doubt, but if you look back and see that you’re spending more time feeling insecure than happy or fulfilled, this is a clear sign of relationship anxiety.


Separation anxiety in relationships conclusion

Separation anxiety in relationships conclusion

Separation anxiety in relationships conclusion. Sometimes, a partner’s fear of abandonment or excessive worry can begin to erode an otherwise healthy relationship, and it may be impossible for the couple to sort it out themselves. You may seek professional help in the following situations.


  • The problem has persisted for more than half a year with no sign of abating
  • The worry and fear are affecting daily life or the relationship
  • Panic attacks are frequent
  • Anxiety has become a constant state of mind days before and after the separation


Separation anxiety in relationships conclusion. Talking to a counselor can help you understand how to deal with these feelings of anxiety in a healthy manner. Also, acknowledging the problem is the first big step towards resolving it and making your way towards a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship.

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